The Former Senator Representing Kaduna North, Shehu Sani has been granted N10 million bail by Justice Iyang Ekwo in the allegation of extortion levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He had pleaded not guilty to the allegation when arraigned on Monday for the first time since he was arrested in December 2019.
The Former lawmaker, through his lawyer, A Ibrahim protested his 30-day incarceration just as he pleaded not guilty to two counts of bribery and advance fee fraud.
The presiding judge dismissed the EFCC’s application which opposed the bail application applied for by the former lawmaker. The court, however, ordered that Senator Sani must deposit his travelling passport with the court registry and must not travel outside Nigeria without permission from the court.
Justice Ekwo adjourned the trial till February 24, 25 and 26.
The Beginning of Troubles
According to the EFCC, Sani was arrested following a leak that he obtained the sum of $30,000 from a popular Kaduna businessman, Sani Dauda who was said to have approached the Senator to help him to weigh-in on the purported plan by the anti-graft agency to investigate him and his company.
Sani was also accused by his estranged former in-law that (Dauda) that he demanded N4 million from him to give the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed.
The former lawmaker had denied the allegations, while the CJN had since had denied links with Sani.
They Want to Silence Me
Senator Shehu Sani will not take any of the allegations levelled against him saying his ordeal with EFFC is an attempt by the Federal Government to silence him.
Sani is a major critic of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. He once accused the Buhari led administration of fighting corruption with deodorant when those close to him were involved but fight with insecticide when members of the opposition were involved.
He said that the Federal Government is using his accuser, through the EFCC, to “frame” him in the extortion scandal.
Sani Senior Special Assistant, Sulaiman Ahmed in a statement issued on Monday said “With open hearts and clear conscience, we welcome, at last, the political arraignment of Senator Shehu Sani by EFCC after 30 days of illegal arrest and detention in an inhospitable and inhabitable environment. The court is an opportunity for Sen. Sani to proof his innocence after a baseless, unfounded and unsubstantiated allegation that had been carefully concocted and fabricated for political reasons.
“The arraignment is simply the last part of scripted drama produced and directed by the accuser and his political sponsors and later backed by the EFCC. We maintain that Sen. Sani was framed up and persecuted for his views and criticisms against the government.
“The EFCC has used almost a month to invent stories, distort facts, craft falsehood and plant it in the media, in order to justify the persecution of the Senator. In the last one month, the EFCC, through its media spokesperson, disseminated lies to justify its cruelty and illegalities. The changes of misrepresentation and extortion are crafted for a special purpose of criminalising and silencing the Senator.
“The EFCC has become a state within a state, using the anti-graft mantra to hunt perceived political enemies in order to protect and shield political establishment. In the last one month, the EFCC has deliberately ignored documents, facts and proof presented by Sen. Shehu Sani to them, because they have made up their minds to persecute him.
“They conducted a bias, unfair, premeditated and cruel interrogation of the Senator that went beyond the ambit of the allegations. Now the court will provide an opportunity for the world to hear from the senator. As we maintain that Sen. Shehu Sani is innocent of the allegations levelled against him. We insist that the EFCC is acting out of political script drama.”